Latvia stuns U.S. in overtime to take first medal ever at hockey worlds

Latvia celebrates after winning bronze in overtime during the 2023 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship against the U.S. in Tampere on May 28, 2023. (Jussi Nukari/AP)

TAMPERE, Finland (AP) — Defenceman Kristian Rubins scored his second goal 1:22 into overtime to lead Latvia to a 4-3 victory over the United States and earn a bronze medal at the ice hockey world championship on Sunday.

It’s the first top-three finish for Latvia at the tournament. Its previous best was a seventh-place finish, which it managed three times.

The U.S. lost in the bronze-medal game for the second straight year. The U.S. team was cruising through the tournament with eight straight wins until it was defeated by Germany in the semifinal 4-3 in overtime.

Rubins rallied Latvia with his first with 5:39 to go in the final period to tie the game at 3-3 and force overtime.

Roberts Bukarts and Janis Jaks also scored for Latvia.

Rocco Grimaldi scored twice for the U.S. in the opening period to negate Latvia’s 1-0 and 2-1 leads.

Matt Coronato had put the U.S. 3-2 ahead 6:19 into the final period.

Canada defeated Germany 5-2 in the final to capture the gold medal.

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